If you competed in high school athletics, you might be able to overlook the fact that "Gracie" is just another formulaic, if well-intentioned, sports movie.

That it's based on true events, both devastating and uplifting, theoretically should give it more heft. So should the fact that it was directed by Davis Guggenheim, an Oscar winner this year for the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

But watching Al Gore talk about global warming again sounds a whole lot more engrossing right about now. Not that the film is boring - it breezes through life-altering developments superficially and with dizzying speed.

Inspired by the childhood of his wife, Elisabeth Shue, and her family, Guggenheim tells the story of teenage Gracie (Carly Schroeder), who wants to play on the varsity boys soccer team, unheard of in suburban 1978 New Jersey. She's driven toward this goal after her older brother, Johnny (Jesse Lee Soffer), dies in a car accident. Johnny was her protector, biggest supporter - and star of the soccer team.

(In real life, Shue's older brother, William, died in an accident when she was 24. Before that, as a girl, Shue was the only girl on an all-boys soccer team.)

No one believes in Gracie - not her dad (Dermot Mulroney), who obsessively runs her brothers through drills in the back yard but excludes her, or her mom (Shue herself), who isn't into sports at all. The other girls think she's weird for being such a tomboy.

You can probably guess what happens.

This is a feel-good, come-from-behind, against-all-odds kind of movie from writers Karen Janszen and Lisa Marie Peterson, which doesn't make it terribly compelling. But it does offer a message that all girls should hear: "You can do anything," Johnny's mantra for his younger sister. And in her first leading role, Schroeder has a likable, natural presence.